- Ekene Franklin Ezeunala, the candidate who scored the highest score in the 2019 UTME, has been offered a scholarship by a Ghanaian university
- Academic City College, a private university in Accra, has offered him a scholarship worth N14m
- The announcement of the scholarship was made by the College Senior Admissions Manager at a workshop held in Lagos
A private university in Accra, Ghana, named Academic City College has offered scholarship worth $40,000 (an equivalent of N14m) to the candidate who scored 347 in the 2019 Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME).
Ekene Franklin Ezeunala who had the highest score in UTME was awarded the scholarship during a workshop organised by the institution for schools and parents at the Sheraton Hotel, Ikeja.
He was, however, absent at the event. The College Senior Admissions Manager in Nigeria, Ogechi Ekpe, spoke at the event. She said that the scholarship granted Ekene would cover tuition and boarding for the duration of his programme at the university.
Her words were: "We have a full scholarship for Ekene. He was supposed to be here today (Friday) but we did not talk about the scholarship today because he was not here. We were to present a scholarship of $40,000 to the boy from year one till he graduates.”
Speaking about Ekene's absence from the workshop/award night, Ogechi Ekpe had this to say: "We were hoping he would be here today so our president can give him the award. The school is here now. We have to go there and see if we can either take him to Ghana or get our president to come again and give him the scholarship. The scholarship is for real. It is called the Presidential Scholarship so the school pays everything including the hostel fees."
Ekene, who turns 15 on May 27, 2019, was denied admission at his preferred college - the University of Lagos (UNILAG) - because he is below the age benchmark of 16. With regards to this, Mrs. Ekpe said that Academic City College, which offers programmes in Engineering, Business, Communication Arts and Information Technology, is willing to accept students from 15 years of age because it has system in place to monitor them.
“That is why we want him there. Nigerian schools won’t give him admission but we will. We start admitting from 15 which is why we have a very visible Dean of Students’ Affairs. We make sure that they go to class, especially foreign students. You cannot be in the hostel during learning hours. Dean Ruth, that is her name, she normally goes round.
“There are parents that pay for their kids to be off campus but all international students must be on campus because we don’t want them to have immigration issues; we don’t want them to go off track. We actually insist that in the first year at least they must be on campus.”
Ekene was first offered a full scholarship by Gregory University, Uturu in Abia state. This Ghanaian institution is the second college to announce a full scholarship to the 15-year-old boy who just completed his West African Senior School Certificate Examination (WASSCE) at Meiran Community Senior High School, Meiran, Lagos.
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